Research Assistant in Software Engineering for Hardware-Based Cybersecurity

University of Cambridge Department of Computer Science and Technology

United Kingdom

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 10 months starting ideally 1st June 2021 (no later than 1st July 2021, end date being 31/03/2022, if preferred by the successful candidate).

Applications are invited for a Research Assistant to focus on "cybersecurity from the hardware" under the Physical Attacks and Supply chain Security (PASS) project.

The PASS project is a close collaboration between a manufacturer of security certified products and the Department of Computer Science and Technology, both located in Cambridge. The successful candidate will require to work physically in Cambridge.

We are looking for a Research Assistant (without/pre-PhD) to work on supply chain/tamper protection (software and hardware) and data extraction (hardware enabled) solutions. A security assessment of a specific security-certified product will be part of the project. While both software and hardware profiles would be considered for this position, software skills would be preferred. The successful candidate will work on advance targets, tools and datasets while being close to several highly experienced academic and industrial teams in hardware-based security.

The ideal candidate would demonstrate, through his/her CV and covering letter, interest, knowledge or experience in few or some of the below:

Essential: Software development (e.g., c/c++, Java, Python, Rust, Go) Understanding of computer systems (hardware and software)

Of interest: Cryptographic principles (e.g., PKI, keys/certificates, hash functions) High-speed interfaces and memories control (e.g., PCB/die/IP blocks level interconnects) Hardware based security threats and knowledge of certifications schemes (e.g., CC, FIPS) Low-level electronics development or reverse engineering (e.g., die/PCB, firmware, protocol level) Benchtop based debug/analysis (e.g., use of logic analyser/oscilloscope, JTAG) Signal processing development, side channel/glitch attacks (e.g., power/clock/EM) Laboratory based probing (e.g., electrical/LASER/ion/electron-based)

Candidates should provide evidence of relevant work, where possible, and must demonstrate a desire to perform internationally leading research and to publish in a top security conference. A Research Assistant can register to do a PhD in due course following this project.

Informal enquiries are welcomed and should be directed to Dr Franck Courbon (

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Please provide a Curriculum Vitae, contact details of a reference, your start date availability and a covering letter including a brief statement of the contribution you would make to the project, drawing attention to relevant experience with software development or hardware-based security research and development. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

Please quote reference NR26357 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Apply online

In your application, please refer to


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